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Add Natural Wood to Your High Tech Gear

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I love the juxtaposition of wood and high technology. I'm surrounded by the latest gear, so it's nice to have a little old-world influence in a gadget. Several examples of wooden "artisanal" gadgets arrived in my mail recently, and they are a pleasure to behold.



Counting Steps is Lame. Count Jumps with VERT!

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My daughter is participating in the American Heart Association Jumprope for Heart program. To prepare, I've had her try the VERT Jump Tracking Device ($124.99). While it's meant for professional and serious athletes, it gave her the feedback and encouragement needed to keep working. The VERT is a belt-clip wearable that's made in the U.S. and if you don't have an outfit that accommodates a belt-clip, they include an elastic belt as an option.



Valedo Makes Fitness Fun

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The fitness tracker movement reminds me of that saying about the weather. Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. Pedometers and trackers are helpful, but they are observers. I discovered a cool gadget at CES that actually improves your health. The Valedo is a two-piece wearable that sticks to your chest and lower back using the 100 included disposable stickers. The two lightweight sensors work together to determine your posture and position, while you "play" a 3D interactive game.



Tip of the Day: How to Control What Information Each App Can Access on Your iPhone or iPad

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Privacy is a huge topic these days. But despite this, how many of us download apps and accept the terms without even thinking about it, thus giving apps access to our contacts, location, social media accounts, and more?

If this describes you, no worries. I am going to tell you how you can check your privacy settings on your iDevice and revoke the access you absentmindedly gave to these apps.



iOS 9 to Focus on the Fundamentals

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Apple should be releasing iOS 8.2 (or 8.3) to the public soon, when the Apple Watch ships;, but eyes are already on iOS 9, which would likely be introduced in June at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. The next version of iOS has a code name, apparently, called Monarch. Rather than a nod to royalty, this could be a reference to the butterfly that emerges from its cocoon. That would be an appropriate analogy, as signs say this version of iOS is not going to be focused on new features, but rather finishing touches like stability. This is similar to how Apple's Swift didn't really offer new functionality, but instead was a cleaner, more efficient way to create apps. Such a shift should help iOS's performance on 16 GB devices.



Game Centered: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Games Take Over the App Store

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Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. Among the App Store’s myriad games, it’s all too easy to overlook some of the greats. Each installment of Game Centered will take a close look at a select few worthy of special recognition. This week's installment is heavy on the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres, both of which have proven hugely successful in the App Store and on iOS devices. Read on to find out which games have received awesome new updates and which newcomers are making waves in the highly competitive App Store gaming environment.



Apple Macs to Adopt CPU Chip from iOS Devices?

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Every year, Apple updates their "A" series of chips that power the iPhone and iPad, prompting speculation that such a chip might find its way into the Mac product line. There are a lot of compelling reasons why that could happen, but there are usually more compelling reasons against it. Which is probably why it hasn't happened yet. However, the buzz is growing around an A-series chip in Apple's next low-end MacBook Air. Apple could control their destiny, using their own chip instead of relying on (and paying) Intel.



CES 2015: Imagination Technologies Demonstrates Their SoC Prowess

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The best of the CES show is often not on the beaten path. One key vendor we make sure to lock in on every year is the Imagination Technologies meeting rooms in South Hall at CES 2015 (way back in the corner). These guys are one of a select number of innovators that design the low-power, system on chip (SoC) technology needed to run our smart homes, smart cars, and smart mobile devices.



CES 2015: Upgrade Your Home Lighting System with a Zuli Smartplug

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We were given a demo of the new Zuli Smartplug system ($135-3 Pak/$50 for single) at  CES 2015. The first production units should start shipping next week. The Zuli smartplug can turn any electrical device into a smart appliance. You simply plug it into a wall socket and your appliance, and you can monitor and control your devices remotely (to include power utilization.) The included app also works with your Nest! 



Best iPhone Apps, iPad Apps, iPod Touch Apps | iPhone Life Magazine

We review the Best iPhone Apps, iPad Apps, and iPod Touch Apps.  Whether you want to play a game (like Chillingham Manor), navigate with GPS, or discover new apps, you can easily get lost.  There are so many on the market and the number is increasing on a daily basis.  So where to begin?  The following examples are just a few of what is out there.

The Head Finder is one of the iPhone apps around. It is a task management or schedule management that helps you organize all the different things you have to do.  It has a very simple user interface and it seems they designed all the most common functions to be done with as little tapping and typing as possible which is a real time saver.  Several time management apps, in the past, have seemed to waste more time entering events and tasks into the app than you might save by being more organized.  With Head Finder you can have a new task entered in less than thirty seconds with their quick three tap process to create a reminder.

Another one of the best Iphone apps we've seen is The JumiCam. This app allows you to view streaming video from any web cam you want with ease.  It's easy to set up the software on your PC and then connect your phone to see what's going on at your house.  The JumiCam also works very well on either a 3G connection or WiFi. This app allows you to connect to as many different web cams as you want so you can monitor your entire house while you're away if you want.  It can really take the place of an entire security service if you wanted it to.  There are many ways to use this, from keeping an eye on a babysitter while you're out on a date to making sure your pet is safe at home while you're at work.

As the name describes, U.S. Traveller is made for travelers that call the United States their home and travel to countries outside their own. In opening the iPhone app, on the "Countries" tab, you are presented with a list of countries & their correlating flags. The added flags next to the country names are a nice touch, especially since most people can quickly find a country based on visual representation versus textual representation. You can travel from the U.S. to numerous countries - Chile, Argentina, Germany & Italy to name a few. This may not adequately prepare you for the countries you visit, but this will for sure help you. The amount of information and the ease of access it gives to people is incredibly invaluable.